OLYMPIA, Wash. - Legislation to amend the Clean Energy Initiative will take effect today and the bill’s prime sponsor says it represents a compromise which safeguards the environment and rural jobs.
“Legacy biomass is as much about protecting jobs as it is about protecting the environment,” said Sen. Brian Hatfield, D-Raymond, chair of the Senate Agriculture, Water & Rural Economic Development committee.
Senate Bill 5575 will allow biomass facilities in operation before March 31, 1999, to qualify as eligible for renewable energy credits. Until now, facilities built before that date have been unable to sell the biomass energy generated in their power plants as renewable energy, putting them at a significant disadvantage. SB 5575 also adds organic by-products of pulping and the wood manufacturing process, known as black liquor, to the definition of biomass.